I am an extremely sentimental person. I used to keep silly little toys, mcdonalds happy meal prizes, polly pocket dolls, even ribbons I especially liked wearing in younger years. Its only probably been a year or two since I actually got rid of all of those knick knacks. Seeing these things would make me so intensely nostalgic for when I was a kid and my biggest worries were….play. A psycologist would probably have interesting things to say about my intense desire to remember these times. I have learned to be a bit more realistic, getting rid of these items doesn’t mean getting rid of memories but I still struggle with letting go.
Thus, these old shoes.
I’ve had these shoes for six years. They are filthy, worn out and don’t look like anything I should wear in polite company, so perhaps there okay for most of my friends and family. I’ve decided they really need replacing and to be tossed out. Why is that so hard for me?
I bought them on ebay, because I couldn’t afford 80 dollar shoes. I got them for 20 bucks and fell in love with their neutral coloring, which meant I could wear them with black or brown. They were the most comfortable thing I have ever worn and that remains pretty true to this day, eight years later.
They have literally been around the world with me. I bought them for my first trip out of the country when I went to England to study abroad. This was an experience that changed my life in astronomical ways. The travel bug bit me on that trip and my desire for travel has been the leading force in many of my life decisions ever since. These shoes have been with me every time I’ve left the country and just about every trip I’ve taken within the US. The biggest break they probably got on any of my trips was my broken foot in Thailand. These shoes didn’t provide useful to “swing” into when I had become adept at my crutches. The culteral practice of always taking off your shoes when entering a building, even if you only have one and the other foot is covered in a cast, proved tedious if I had to sit down every time I wanted to take my shoe off. Thus I bought a pair of fake brand crocks that I could literally swing my foot into on my crutches.
You know I still own those crocks too…
But anyway back to my beaten and broken shoes. They have traveled to and through over 20 countries with me. They have been my companion on my most exciting excursions. They were part of my favorite times of my life. They carried my through the best stories I have to tell about myself. There is also the fact that they are most incredibly comfortably broken into, how do you let something like that go? The years it took to mold that shoe to my foot has well….led to what looks like a moldy shoe itself.
Can you believe I’m going on like this over something like old shoes?
Thats my sentimentality, my love for that bittersweet extreme nostalgia. You can blame my mom. She is the one I got it from. Or we can acknowledge I’m a little crazy. For more than being so very attached to these shoes.
So what to do?
My best answer has come down to this. Buying the exact same shoes over again. Buying the same brand, the same color, I even bought the new ones on ebay as well. Then continue my life with them while making many new memories.